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More Recent Toys (As Of February 13th)

I’ve been accumulating some new toys lately. So, I’ll keep showing ’em off, whether or not I get to any lengthier "spotlights" on any of them.

disney_afternoon_mystery_minis_shere_khan

Several weeks back, I finally "gave in" and bought a blind-box of the Disney Afternoon Mystery Minis. I got Shere Khan from TaleSpin, I believe a Toys R Us exclusive for the set. Initially, I wasn’t all that thrilled, but he’s grown on me…especially as I liken this version to the mid-’80s Lex Luthor. I’ve got this at my desk at work, and have yet to hear any complaint!

disney_afternoon_mystery_minis_darkwing_duck

The mini I especially wanted from the set was Darkwing Duck himself. However, for the price of these, I decided it’d be much more economical to just order the loose figure online. While it was more than I’d prefer to pay for any single one of these…it was cheaper than buying two more blind-boxes. And this way, I have a cool figure from the set in Shere Khan, and I have THE figure I most wanted. No dupes, no fuss.

JLAction_new_supermen

I did not know the Justice League Action Mighty Minis line had continued until I happened across several packs at a Half-Price Books. I bought two, and wound up with these two Supermen. Some sort of "gold variant" and a "holographic". Not overly keen on ’em (I especially wanted The Atom!) but they go on my Superman shelf, so…could be worse?

one12_mirror_universe_spock

While I’m totally hit or miss on actually keeping up with Twitter, one time that I was on, saw a post from FigureFan Zero about a deal at ThinkGeek for a Mirror Univers Spock figure, apparently usually in the $80 range, on sale for a ridiculously great price. I followed the link, liked what I saw, and ordered it. I especially like that the figure came with a base, though I have yet to figure out a semi-permanent place to display it. Of course, I’m having that issue with a lot lately…really need to get around to assembling some bookcases I bought last year.

legacy_dragonzord_imaginext_green_ranger

Then there’s my favorite of late, and the one I’m most excited to have (FINALLY!) managed to get: the Legacy Dragonzord! I’ve been wanting this for years (it’s been over 2 1/2 years since I got the White Tigerzord) and just happened across one being sold via Walmart‘s third-party stuff. While a lot more expensive than I wanted to spend at the time, it was (including shipping) roughly what I paid for the White Tigerzord, and about $10 under my "upper limit" that I’d set for myself for this awhile back. Here it’s pictured with an Imaginext Green Ranger.

2010_megazord_legacy_tigerzord_robot

Here’s the plastic 2010 Megazord next to the White Tigerzord in robot mode (and the visor was down when I took the photo without realizing it).

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And here’s a shot of the Dragonzord with the White Tigerzord in Tiger mode.

dragonzord_megazord_tigerzord_robot

…And the three Zords together. I would not mind getting the Thunder Megazord…but that’s a BIT pricy right now…especially with some other expensive stuff I’m very interested in at present, amidst all my other spending with comics and such!

IMG_6648_2

I happened across some blind boxes of the Loyal Subjects Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers in a clearance aisle, 75% off. I got the T-Rex Zord, Saber-Toothed Tiger Zord, Red Ranger, and Blue Ranger.

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The Zords came with these teeny-tiny ultra-miniature figures. I thought that was great, as it actually gives the Zords some scale! And I never imagined such tiny Ranger figures…with removable helmets and poseability themselves!

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Here’s the full-size Red Ranger…more articulation than the tiny-mini.

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And the Blue Ranger. The helmets have hinge/clasps, and remove to show the human face of the Ranger inside. Of course, I prefer the helmets on, as these are the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, and I’m not going for the cartoony human side.


To say that I’m on a Power Rangers kick lately would probably be an understatement. And I’m rather amazed to see how my MMPR collection has grown in the last 12-13 months!

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New Hardcovers! JLI, Darkseid War, and The Button

I think this may have been my single largest (or at least expensive!) purchase of collected volumes in one go!

books_oct_20b

I’d been particularly waiting for the Justice League International Omnibus (oops, it’s "only" vol. 1!) and was eager to get it. The book is one of the thicker omnibus volumes, and a bit unwieldy at its size, but for all it contains, seems well worthwhile!

Then there’s the Justice League: The Darkseid War Saga Omnibus, collecting the Darkseid War from a couple years ago. I’d balked at the "skinny books" collecting it in multiple parts–I’ve grown really sick and tired of specific, finite stories being broken up into numerous skinny editions JUST for the sake of having "standard 6-issue collected editions." I was curious about the story and interested enough to want it…but not in multiple volumes. Finding out it was getting an omnibus solved that–it’s a nice, thick book and having the entire storyline is a huge plus!

Finally, the Batman/Flash: The Button deluxe hardcover…there’s just something to it for me, the Batman and Flash teamed up, and being the "next step" of sorts from the Rebirth special…and given how much I was already spending, tossing it on was virtually negligible (and cheaper than 2-3 Marvel single-issues!)

Now, we just need a Thy Kingdom Come omnibus of that 12-issue story and 4 specials! (And if they need to pad it out to be thicker, include the original Kingdom Come itself. And if they want to totally go for broke, include The Kingdom along with the New Year’s Evil: Gog special!)

books_oct_20a

Interestingly enough, I’m still really not a fan of Darkseid, and DC has gotten me to triple-dip on several things since Rebirth started. I’ve got a couple of JLI skinny hardcovers from awhile back, but missed vol. 2, and was annoyed so didn’t get any of the later ones that there may have been. Now, this way, I’m getting those and more in one volume! (and we’ll see on a volume 2, hopefully not too soon!)

Foot-Tall Heroes: Spider-Men and Supermen

I’ve long-resisted the Titan Hero figures. These are 12" figures with little articulation (particularly compared to say, Marvel Legends or even the 3.75" figures.

I’d gotten a couple in the last year-plus, though: a Spider-Man 2099 because I had the Marvel Legends figure and the 3.75" figure and thought I’d be able to find the Pop Vinyl figure.

I’d bought a Robin because hey…Robin.

And then recently, on a whim, I snagged the Scarlet Spider. Then also on a whim, the Iron Spider. Then because I’d bought these others…I got a "regular" Spider-Man since why not?

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So now I have four Spider-Men foot-tall figures…they’re as tall or taller than most of the books on the shelf.

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And I’ve also snagged the Justice League Action  Superman, and Electric-Blue Superman (though I think I already had this, but couldn’t find it…so maybe I’ll get to paint one red if I find a duplicate).

I’m now actually interested in a Hulk and Hulkbuster Iron Man, as well as Black Panther. And I’d definitely like some ’90s-style X-Men.

But as always, it’s more "stuff," and adds to my wonder at ever having "everything" on a shelf, on display…though it’ll certainly allow for plenty of "rotation" of stuff.

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More Mighty Minis!

Out of my last 11 "blind bag" purchases, I’ve gotten 10 characters I specifically wanted…and no more duplicates! (like the 4 or so Lex Luthors I wound up with from the Justice League Action Mighty Minis line…)

It seems that some brands of these have codes on the packaging, and there are discussion threads online that list the codes. As such, the following:

mighty_minis_batman_villains

Several cool-ish villains. Chemo and Mr. Freeze (well, a mutated version…must be from the Batman Unlimited continuity?). A little less appealing to me with all that orange in place of brown is Clayface.

mighty_minis_bane_ww_aquaman

Then we have Bane, who was introduced to comics early in my time, and thus a key character for me…especially growing up in the ’90s!

I went ahead and snagged Wonder Woman and Aquaman to round up my group of characters…even though these are movie versions and not comic versions. I’ll make do with them until more comic-style ones are available.

jla_firestorm_teen_titans_go_robin

Rounded out the Justice League Action with Firestorm, the key remaining character from series 1 that I actively wanted. And then just because I found the codes, snagged a Robin from a Teen Titans Go set.  (Not like I have enough Robins yet…)

imaginext_dc_series_2_kingdom_come_superman_brainiac

And then, having had them brought to my attention, I’d bought several Imaginext blind bags and wound up with multiple Brainiacs. Once I "discovered" there were "codes" I was able to get my Kingdom Come Superman. (also don’t have enough Supermen yet).

mighty_minis_bus1_batman

Finally, at a Toys R Us, I stumbled across several packs of the original/first series of Batman Unlimited and was able to get a blue-and-grey Batman himself…a figure that’s eluded me since these first appeared.

Many More Mighty Minis!

Hokay, cheesy post titles aside…

I have yet to see any episodes of Justice League Action…heck, I have yet to even attempt to set a DVR to even attempt to catch any attempt at an episode…but that’s a story for some other post.

I was pleasantly amused recently to see something about a new line of Mighty Minis showing up in stores, and feeling like they were colorful again (after the somber, dark, muted colors I picture with Batman v Superman).

So when I came across ’em myself…I gave in and bought a couple. And then a couple more.

mighty_minis_2017a

My first purchase yielded me a Robin, which I was very pleased has the "classic" stylized "R" I associate with the Tim Drake Robin (rather than the Damian Wayne version or the generic one with Dick Grayson). Said purchase also yielded a generic Lex Luthor that I’m very annoyed about…the mini I least wanted out of the ENTIRE WAVE of these.

The second purchase yielded the Batman, Flash, and one of the two remaining that I most wanted: Blue Beetle! That leaves Firestorm, and (yes, I know my math…) then Superman, cuz hey…Superman.

These join some from last year:

mighty_minis_2016a

…Though I mostly like the newer ones better. The main reason is probably that they’re less bulky. It was last year’s Robin that caught my attention and led to me buying any at all.

Perhaps duplicates, but I’d’ve sworn I had more than these, but after moving last summer and clearing out a desk of 9 years’ stuff when I was laid off..who knows? I also had several of the BvS ones, but none turned up in time to have their photo taken for this post.


These Mighty Minis (whatever the assortment/wave) are "blind pack" things–you buy a sealed packet (reminds me of some sorta fruit gummies) with no idea which of the eight to twelve minis it contains until you open it.

They come unassembled, further confounding the "cherry picker" unless there’s one particular character that’s especially bulky…or you at least narrow it down to "has a cape" or "doesn’t have a cape." The packets also come with a folded paper insert providing a checklist of what possibilities there are.

In this case, it shows this first wave as well as "spoiling" the upcoming second wave.

With Robin and Flash new versions, I’d be interested in the Green Arrow in the next wave, as well as The Atom and Wonder Woman (to hopefully go with Batman and Superman from this one).

While a bit pricy for their size, that’s kinda relative considering the price of figures only about twice the size. While two or three of these could almost buy one non-blind-pack figure…unless one is buying multiple packs at a time, these are relatively inexpensive and easy enough to "toss on the pile" when buying a load of groceries and other actual essentials.

These are a bit bigger than Heroclix minis…and there are farrrrr fewer per wave, which makes them much more accessible, rather than something people are gonna ascribe $70+ value to in the secondary market. These are what they are, and outside of perhaps paying a bit more to know I’m not "just" getting a duplicate (at present, I now have a 63% chance of getting a duplicate rather than not!) I can’t see these seriously going for much money; I still have seen some of the first wave of last year’s minis in stores like Five Below as well as Walmart and Target; and wouldn’t be surprised if Toys R Us still had them.

Final thought: where the heck are the Pokemon blind-pack toys?!? If ever a property was worthy of blind-pack miniatures and such, it’s that…

mighty_minis_2017b

Zero Hour Revisited – Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #3

90srevisited_zerohour

zero_hour_0003Story and Art: Dan Jurgens
Finished Art: Jerry Ordway
Letterer: Gaspar
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Asst. Editor: Mike McAvennie
Editor: KC Carlson
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: September 1994
Cover Price: $1.50

We open with Jay Garrick lamenting the loss of Wally–first Barry in the last Crisis, now Wally in this one. While Waverider, Jay, and the other “elder” heroes prepare to take the fight to Vanishing Point, Superman and Metron arrive at the gathering of the other heroes as they try to properly organize. There’s a brief aside with the Time Trapper, mirroring the Trapper/Rokk scene from Valor #23 (the “key moment” from that issue). Waverider and the Hawks are separated from the rest of the JSA mid-teleport to Vanishing point; where they wind up, Waverider witnesses a merging of “the Hawks,” all the versions of Hawkman over the years settling into a single entity. At Vanishing Point, Extant takes the older heroes apart, outright killing or aging all of them (removing what had kept them physically young), save Green Lantern/Sentinel (Alan Scott). Unable to  get through his powers, Extant de-powers Scott’s ring. Waverider and the “merged” Hawkman joined the “other heroes” before Waverider sensed things and disappears to Vanishing Point…where he’s too late to prevent Extant’s attack on the JSA, and the villain reveals a stunning secret to Waverider–that of who and what he truly is (beyond what we saw in the prelude story).

I’d almost swear I’ve “always” read this story in one close-together chunk…the only exception being that summer the issues were originally being published, where I’d read them the week they were put out and then had to wait until the next week for the next issue. With that in mind…it’s rather weird getting to this issue, having forced myself to read EIGHT OTHER issues between. This main story was thus majorly disrupted for me, so much that I could–in a manner of speaking–almost say that I’d forgotten what happened in the last issue.

Of course, one gets back up to speed (no Flash pun intended) pretty quickly as we get back to that plot point–a Flash has died, and it’s the “older generation” of heroes that remains once again. Though I might have argued the point reading the previous issue–that the story could only be enhanced reading the tie-ins–actually having read some of them now and been largely underwhelmed, I’m that much more convinced that the core Zero Hour story truly does stand on its own. This gives a reader what they need just in the core title withOUT being REQUIRED to read tie-in issues. There’ll surely be some exceptions to that, some rich pieces that truly make full use of the crossover, but with stuff like the Legionnaires and Outsiders issues and even Green Lantern being business as usual with only the loosest connecting tie, I’m quickly convinced they’re far from necessary.

As with the previous issue, both the story and the art are very strong, giving us quick bits on several situations, definitely moving things forward and setting up plot elements both for the rest of the event as well as character points for DC continuity going forward. This both looks and feels like the previous issue, like it’s the next chapter of the larger story–as it should!

The aging of, and deaths in, the JSA are quite memorable and iconic for me–this was my “introduction” to most of the characters and the generational concept in the continuity of DC Comics. I didn’t know who all of them were–and I’m still not familiar with all of them, though I at least RECOGNIZE them all now. Within this issue, Superman references recent events in his own book, which leaves me thinking either there’s no absolute, good order to read these in…or whatever I was working from was more than a little off.

Obviously this is not an issue one would jump into cold, and as the second issue of five, of a WEEKLY Event series, I doubt anyone would expect to. We get the continuation of the core story, key elements from other books (Rokk/Trapper) are drawn into the core story as applicable, and we have events that’ll presumably be touched on in other tie-ins for the next round of books.

All in all, after the first round of books I’d have to say I don’t feel like I missed anything by not having really read outside the Superman and Batman titles originally…and it remains now to be seen if I find more tie-ins that are suitably crucial to the core Event in the next round of tie-ins.

Zero Hour Revisited – Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #4

90srevisited_zerohour

zero_hour_0004Story and Art: Dan Jurgens
Finished Art: Jerry Ordway
Letterer: Gaspar
Colorist: Gregory Wright
Asst. Editor: Mike McAvennie
Editor: KC Carlson
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: September 1994
Cover Price: $1.50

As a weekly, core event mini-series, there is a LOT that happens in this book. Also, though this is the first issue of the series, it was numbered as 4–because we’re counting down TO Zero Hour, and go from #4, to #3, down to #0.

This was my first DC Universe event that I got in on from the very beginning. While I count Eclipso: The Darkness Within and Bloodlines as events, those played out in Annuals and thus were a separate thing from the actual titles. Zero Hour played out across actual issues of a bunch of different series throughout July 1994, and was truly an Event, capital-E.

We open on the Time Trapper being killed. Knowing the end of this story and 20+ years of DC history since, it makes total sense who the villain of the piece is from these pages, though I recall being entirely clueless at the time. We then jump around quite a bit as pieces are moved into place, both for this core series and to set things up for tie tie-in titles for the first week of the event. Metron finds Darkseid and urges him to act. When that fails, he leaves on his own to seek allies elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Joker finds himself facing Batgirl, and then an equally-surprised Batman and Robin who don’t know who this young woman is. The Linear men become aware of a disturbance in Time, so Waverider and Hunter (with no reference at all to Sum: Zero–the Prelude to Zero Hour from Showcase ’94 #s 8-9) are dispatched to investigate. They arrive in the far future just in time to see The Flash–Wally West–die trying to shut down the rift eating through Time itself…they escape into the past. Back in the present, Superman meets up with Batman for the first time since before their respective “big events” (Superman’s death/return and Batman’s broken back/healing)…just as Metron shows up. Waverider and Hunter then encounter a young Hal Jordan, himself displaced in time, and try once again to stop the rift, but this time only Waverider gets out, though Hunter is able to tell him to look up a “crisis.” Back on Earth in the present, Hawkman confronts Vandal Savage, and then splits into numerous iterations of himself, confusing Savage. Metron and Superman locate Kyle Rayner, the current Green Lantern, and broadcast a message to the heroes of Earth, informing them of the situation. Metron then confronts the Spectre; Hawkman re-merges with himself as the Justice Society shows up; Vandal Savage disappears, and Waverider appears, bearing the horrible news of this crisis having already claimed its Flash…and Extant gloats.

Given its relative quick point, I’ll touch on the art, first. It’s Jurgens…with Ordway. Fantastic stuff, some of my absolute favorite, particularly given their involvement with the Superman books, this was a line-wide event, but helmed by “the Superman guys” I was already familiar with, AND Superman’s involved, so when this came out, it seemed a natural extension–or expansion–for me, and fit perfectly. Even now in 2016, I love the art, and it just IS. This being my first such event, and these guys on the art, their work became instantly “iconic” for me, and a standard I often hold stuff to even after another 22 years.

Story-wise, this also fit into the Superman books of the time–my core anchor to the then-DC Universe. His involvement here brought me into it (Ditto Waverider), and though at the time I wasn’t all that familiar with many characters, there were enough that I WAS familiar with that it never turned me off. I understood–even then–that this was bringing together a ton of different characters, so I followed along, getting more out of the characters I knew, and rolling with those I did not. Some of the scenes that unfold in this book remain iconic to me both in the visuals as well as story beats–particularly the Flash’s big moment.

We get just enough in this issue itself to grasp the core of what’s going on–rifts in Time are eating backward from the End of Time as well as the Beginning, causing anything from those periods to cease to exist, both ends moving toward the late 20th century. We see characters experiencing chronal anomalies, as everyone is affected from humans to gods and everyone in between.

This issue virtually ignores the prelude bits from Showcase ’94, without even a reference or footnote pointing readers to it, so I certainly didn’t miss it back then, though it gives context for the panel Extant appears in here. Other than that, we’re introduced to the situation, see how it’s affecting things, see various characters face the situation while others notice its effects, a call to action goes out, and though this issue alone provides a lot of story, it also shows us glimpses of things that are expanded on in various tie-in issues. I only remember reading several of the Batman and of course the Superman tie-ins, and this core series and getting plenty from the Event. This time through, I’m reading every tie-in that I’m aware of, hopefully lined up with the weeks they were originally released in (corresponding to the core mini’s issues).

The core series was a 5-issue WEEKLY book…with the entire event, start to finish (outside of the prelude) taking place in ONE MONTH. Blink, and you miss it. Blink twice, and you missed the Zero Month as well. Drastically unlike modern events that can take six or more months to a year to play out, chewing up entire ARCS in a title or filling entire mini-series if characters’ involvement can’t interrupt something in their individual titles. Zero Hour, then a bunch of #0 issues for Zero Month, then the DC Universe continued on.

That I’m about to dive into all of the tie-ins along with the core series and Superman/Batman books is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And as a self-proclaimed Official Reading Project, I’ll be sharing my experience in writing, as I intend to cover every issue (including the Booster Gold issue from Geoff Johns).

The clock is ticking…

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